By Mark Itsibor
In pursuit of its resolve, the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has commenced the compilation of a list of the names of those owing the federal government about N4.4 trillion for publication.
LEADERSHIP exclusively gathered yesterday that some of the debtors, especially politicians seeking elective positions in the coming general elections, have approached the corporation to see how to possibly settle their debts and avoid being on the list that would be published soon.
AMCON had announced a one-month window, through advertorials in the media, for the 7,912 debtors that had failed to settle their obligations to the government to clear their debt or face being named and shamed by publishing their names in the media.
“AMCON is going ahead with that publication. As we speak, we are compiling the list,” AMCON spokesman, Jude Nwauzor, said when he led a delegation of the corporation on a courtesy visit to LEADERSHIP Group Limited. According to him, the organisation also wants to make sure that it does not make the mistake of including the cases it currently has pending in court and generate another round of litigations.
“We are trying to be as careful as we can; that’s why it’s taking time. We did not tell anybody that once the time allowed ends on the 5th, we are publishing on the 6th or 7th.
“But what has also happened between the time we made the publication and now is that there is a lot of public noise. A lot of people are coming in to say, ‘please how do I pay so that my name will not come out on the list’. We are going into a political period. This is a political year as it were. So, some of them that are eyeing key positions think it will be a bit difficult for them to get those clearances from government agencies, given the collaboration with sister agencies.
“So, they are trying as much as possible to make sure their names don’t come out there. But eventually anybody whose name comes out there at the end of the day, it means that the person has not done anything, has not responded and then the person or organisation should have his or herself to blame,” he said. Nwauzor said the list would be published when the management gives approval, adding that the legal and enforcement departments of the corporation are ‘seriously’ working on it to ensure that everything is done to conclude the process.
Group managing director of LEADERSHIP Group Ltd, Muazu Elazeh, who was among the top management staff of the media organisation to receive the AMCON delegation, said the agency needs the support of the media to help it tell the true narrative of what’s happening to the public. “And I think you will find that in LEADERSHIP, we are ever ready to provide you the needed cooperation and support to help you do your job,” he said.
Elazeh promised the delegation that more effort will be put in to revive the existing relationship between AMCON and LEADERSHIP.
“Of course, what we are going to do now is to deepen the existing relationship. I would like to assure you that it’s going to be a win-win relationship. We look forward to a better relationship going forward,” Elazeh stated.
Nwauzor described LEADERSHIP as one of the few newspapers that had supported the corporation. “LEADERSHIP has been very exceptional to us,” he said.